English: Glassybaby votive, dark with candle

Do you like candles?  Maybe decorative candles?  Birthday candles?  What about candles that aren’t really candles at all?

The other day I was eating in a restaurant that had candles on the tables.  But there was something different about these candles.  They weren’t real.  They looked real, but they were not real.  They were fake.  Inside the votive cover was a plastic flame with an on/off switch on the bottom of it.  Have you seen those?  They look so real through the votive holder, but inside they are just plastic-covered flickering lights.  And they don’t even get warm.

That made me think about real candles.  Real candles have real flames that get hot.  In fact, they get so hot that as they burn the wax from the candle melts.  You can even use a real candle to light other candles.  And if you’re not careful, real candles can start a fire.  Because they’re not fake.  They are real candles with real burning fire.

So I have a question for you.  If you were like one of these candles today, which one would you be like?  Are you like that plastic candle that looks really neat, but isn’t really flickering with real fire?  Or are you like a real candle that is burning hot with a flame that could start other candles on fire?

I want to be like the real candle.  I think as we spend time getting to know God more every day we become like a real candle.  John 8:12 says this, “He (Jesus) said, ‘I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life,'” (NIV).  When we believe in Jesus as our Savior, then we have the light of life.  As we continue to walk with Him, we will reflect His light.  Acts 13:47 says this, “For this is what the Lord has commanded us:  ‘I have made you a light…that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth,'” (NIV).  Do you have the light of life?  Is your fire spreading to others?  We have been commanded to tell the good news and we can do that through the way that we live and the words that we say – in the way that we shine like real candles.

Maybe you are feeling like that restaurant candle today, the one with the pretend flame.  Maybe you go to church or even call yourself a Christian, but you’ve never made the decision to believe in Jesus as your Savior.  You can do that today!  Or maybe you decided to believe in Jesus as your Savior, but you haven’t been taking time to really know Him.  You can do that by reading the Bible, talking with God, spending time with other believers and also by telling other people about what God has done for you.  That restaurant candle looked neat on the table, but it just didn’t have real fire.  You don’t have to be like that.

I have to admit that the restaurant candle was interesting for a while, but I want the real thing.  I want to be like a real candle with a real flame that burns.  I want my heart to burn with the love of Jesus in such a way that I will be the hands and feet of Jesus to others, to do my part in bringing salvation to the ends of the earth.  Paul wrote this in 2 Corinthians 4:6, “For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.  But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us,” (NIV).

Let’s be like real candles today, shining with the light and love of Jesus in our hearts so that others will know the light of the glory of God.

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